The Temple of the Big Stupa, also known as the Wat Chedi Luang, is part of Chiang Mai's historic center. It is a Buddhist temple and originally, this was also the site of the Wat Ho Tham and Wat Sukmin.
The construction of Wat Chedi Luang was started by King Saen Muang Ma during the 14th century so that he will bury his father's ashes there. However, after ten years into the construction it was still left unfinished. It was only after his death where the temple was completed by his widow under the reign of King Tilokaraj.
Measuring 54 meters in diameter and 82 meters high, the Wat Chedi Luang is the biggest structure in all of Lanna. At one point in time, the wat was the home of the famous Emerald Buddha. However, after an earthquake in 1545, the Buddha was moved to Luang Prabang.
By the 20th century, the Wat Chedi Luang was rebuilt backed by the Japanese government and UNESCO and a copy of the Emerald Buddha was placed in the temple. Some people however, are not happy with the reconstruction since it reflects more of Central Thai architecture than Lanna style.